Posts Tagged ‘Hypersalivation’

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

 

It’s been a little over two years since I delivered my wonderfully healthy baby boy. I’ve been awash in the stress of life as a working mom, wife, and teacher. Yet not a day passes that I don’t think of you, my sisters in suffering. Hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG, is a temporary condition but it does leave an impact on its sufferers. If you’re in the middle of an hg pregnancy and dreaming about life without this debilitating condition, here’s a look from someone two years out.

Here’s the good news:

  • I have not experienced the nausea, fatigue, and vomiting (nvp) I did when I was pregnant since I delivered my child. Not once.
  • I have a happy, healthy, normal son who has brought me more joy than I ever imagined possible.
  • I am a stronger person than I once was. The feeling that I can survive anything has not left me.

Yet life is not perfect. I don’t expect it to be, but I hadn’t counted on these hurdles:

  • I had the stomach flu last year and the four times I vomited brought me back to that very dark place when it felt like the nausea and vomiting would never end.
  • As much as my husband and I want another child, thinking of being pregnant makes me feel nauseous. Seriously.
  • The fear of experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum again scares me.

So if you’re slogging your way through an hg pregnancy, reach for the hope that you will survive. I did, and I know many others who have as well. It is difficult, this business of bringing life into the world– even without hg. Yet it is possible to make it through the days, weeks, and months of sick. Avoid the soft slide into isolation by surrounding yourself with your supporters– friends, family, nurses, and spouses. When it comes to food, try everything you can. If you can keep down Pringles, Jolly Ranchers, and V-8 (the hg safe foods early in my pregnancy) then so be it. Distract yourself from the illness. If that means watching every season of Desperate Housewives, reading the Twilight Series again, or knitting everyone’s Christmas presents in July then do it. But most important, remember Buzz Light Year’s motto: Never give up, never surrender. You CAN survive this. And two years from now, when you’re chasing after a toddler whose favorite word is “no,” you’ll understand: life is not perfect, but you’re strong enough to face anything that comes your way.

 

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Patriotic Comic

Got your attention, didn’t it? I stumbled upon this comic on Pinterest this evening. What a poignant and meaningful depiction of the sacrifices our soldiers have made for our freedom.

While you’re not in a military conflict, you are sacrificing yourself each day you carry a child in your belly. How much is this costing you? I know many women who have lost their jobs as a result of having hg. I know even more women who have suffered strained relationships with their significant others and family members, too. The effects of hg are not limited to the physical and mental. They reach out like tentacles, grasping even the miniscule in our lives.

When I had this condition, I often asked myself “is this worth it?” Is the all of the physical pain, the mental anguish, the strained relationships, the job that asked me to work while I was on short-term disability… is it worth it? As a first-time mother I couldn’t comprehend the joy having a child would bring. I simply knew that I was miserable, that I felt like I was dying, and that there was nothing in the world that could take the illness away except giving birth.

The price my husband and I paid for our child was high. Was it worth it? Definitely. Would I do it all over again to have my child? Without hesitation. That doesn’t mean that being pregnant with hg wasn’t the most difficult, and miserable experience of my life. It just means that enduring months of misery was worth the joy of having my child.

Reading my words won’t make it better. There is nothing I can say to take away the nausea, hypersalivation, or dehydration. But I can encourage you. When you’re in pain, when you’re miserable, when you’re counting the cost… know that your child is worth all of the suffering (and more). You may not feel it now, you may  not see it now. But that is the truth, and the moment you hold your child in your arms is the moment that you’ll know: it is worth the cost.